The San Francisco 49ers have a stockpile of quarterbacks heading into 2019, and the Washington Redskins are desperately short. Trading C.J. Beathard could help solve that.
It’s not likely San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan keeps three quarterbacks on his 53-man roster in 2019. As of now, though, he has three from which to choose: Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard.
Garoppolo is the shoo-in starter once he recovers fully from his 2018 ACL injury. Shanahan’s question is to determine who backs Garoppolo up.
Mullens has had the better success, albeit over a shorter period of time. As a result, he’s the hotter commodity in a potential trade market, especially when you consider his very team-friendly contract.
But Beathard, who has just one win over his 10 career starts the last two years, is the player most likely not to be on the Niners’ regular-season roster in 2019. Getting something, anything for him on the trade market would be ideal even if it means San Francisco won’t get a positive return on its 2017 third-round NFL Draft pick.
Why not call the Washington Redskins?
Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffered his horrendous lower-leg injury late in 2018. And while Smith’s recovery appears to be moving along with success, David J. Chao, MD wrote up the following about Smith’s immediate future:
"The good news is he should not lose his leg.The bad news is he likely has several surgeries and procedures still to come, including the ultimate removal of his ring external fixator. At this point, there is no way he will be ready for the start of the coming season. In fact, he may never be able to play."
Smith’s recovery is more important than football, yes. But for football purposes, the Redskins will need a quarterback in 2018. Smith’s injury forced Washington to unsuccessfully experiment with backups, Josh Johnson, Colt McCoy and Mark Sanchez over the latter days of 2018. None are long-term solutions.
The Redskins aren’t exactly in a position to easily grab a top-tier quarterback this offseason. Both free agency and the 2019 NFL Draft are thin at the position. And selecting at No. 15 overall this April doesn’t help Washington’s chances to select one of arguably two (Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray) Round 1-quality quarterbacks.
The Redskins have only five picks in this year’s draft, while the Niners have six. Washington is short picks in Rounds 4 and 6. It’s doubtful the Niners would settle dealing Beathard for a sixth-round pick. But a fourth?
That’s more of a possibility.
Not yet a probability, though. It wouldn’t be surprising to see San Francisco having to sweeten the deal a bit. After all, Beathard’s success at the NFL level isn’t exactly awe-inspiring.
How about this?
Such a trade would essentially take Beathard and turn San Francisco’s seventh-round pick into a fifth rounder. The 49ers don’t lose a draft pick, per se, and they also clear up their quarterbacking logjam heading into 2019.
Meanwhile, it’s a win for Beathard. He likely knows he’s the third stringer behind Mullens and Garoppolo right now, and the chance to start would be vastly improved in Washington than it will be in San Francisco.
Either way, this is just food for thought and speculation for the offseason. Will it happen? Probably not.
But it should. Such a trade benefits both sides.